Japanese

naruto board

The Naruto Shippuden Board Game, a cooperative game based around the travels of Naruto and his friends, will now be coming to the English market via the combined efforts of Japanime Games and Yoka Games.  Yoka Games is a division of Tsume Art, which is known for its unique style of quality art and packaging, and this style is captured distinctly in this game.

In the Naruto Shippuden Board Game, players take on the role of the main characters from the series, fighting against the incursion of the Akatsuki to save the world. The game promises a unique experience, with 3 levels of play and a variety of enemies to fight.  Japanime Games and Yoka Games expect the game to be a huge success due to its high quality components, solid game play, and a successful anime property.

Eric Price of Japanime Games commented: “We are proud to work with our new partners in bringing Naruto to our fans.  We are sure they will love the game as much as we do.  We look forward to future collaborations with Yoka and to help them take advantage of the licenses they have.”

For more information on this and other releases from Japanime Games, visit their website here.

Academy Games would like to announce their upcoming game releases for June of 2016.  These releases are:

Mare Nostrum: Empires

Mare Nostrum: Empires is a building game in which 3-5 players lead their individual empires to dominion of the ancient world.  You grow the fame and glory of your empire by expanding your influence into new Provinces, then extending your Trade Caravans, building Markets, and founding new Cities and Temples.  You may also recruit Heroes and create Wonders to advance your Empire’s cause.  But beware of your ‘friends’, for they may look upon your gains with envy and greed…and thwart your progress towards dominance of Mare Nostrum!

  • Choose Your Leader
  • Choose Your Strategy
  • Grow into a Trade Empire
  • Become a Hero
  • Conquer Your Enemies
  • Play in a Beautiful World with High Quality Components and a Thick Mounted Game board

Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal

This stand-alone product continues the multi-award-winning Conflict of Heroes series.  In this game, players command platoons and companies of individual squads and tanks to resolve the same tactical dilemmas that commanders faced during some of the most ferocious engagements of World War II.

In this game, the Americans track Victory Points, but the Japanese track Bushido.  If a Japanese commander loses face during battle, his command and men’s morale can crumble.  Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal features a fast and fluid system (quick and simultaneous play) that is fun, easy (no charts), historically accurate, and contains high-quality components.

Look for both of these titles to be released in stores in June of 2016.  For more information on these titles, visit the Academy Games website.

pokemon train on

The Pokémon Company International would like to announce its excitement over the celebration of the brand’s 20th year.   The company has announced that 2016 will be filled with special promotions and product launches, with a special featured ad during the Super Bowl.

The following is the detailed press release:

Pokémon is thrilled to announce that 2016 will be a year-long celebration of the past, present, and future of the 20-year-old brand. First introduced in Japan in 1996 with the video games Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green for the Game Boy system, Pokémon has delighted fans of all ages around the world for two decades. With more than 275 million video games sold worldwide, 21.5 billion TCG cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 18 seasons, Pokémon is one of the most successful entertainment brands in the world.

To kick-start the celebration, The Pokémon Company International announced today that it will air a new ad during Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7, which will encourage fans to Train On. In that spirit, fans are encouraged to share their favorite Pokémon memories on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube using the hashtag #Pokemon20. On Pokémon Day, February 27, fans can join in on the fun at special events at participating retail locations across the country. More details can be found at Pokemon.com/20. Fans visiting the site throughout the year will find information about monthly Mythical Pokémon distributions, retail events, special products, messages from some of Pokémon’s biggest fans, and the upcoming Pokémon Photo Booth app.

In addition to all of these great ways to celebrate 20 years of Pokémon, there is much more to come in 2016. This spring, Pokkén Tournament (Pokemon.com/PokkenTournament) for the Wii U console will bring Pokémon to life in a way never seen before: Pokémon battle in direct response to the player’s actions. Pokémon GO (Pokemon.com/GO), a ground-breaking mobile game that will encourage fans to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon, launches later this year. To coincide with Pokémon Day on February 27, Nintendo will also make some of their best-selling Pokémon amiibo available again, at select retailers only. Fans should be on the lookout for Charizard, Jigglypuff, Greninja, and Lucario to join Pikachu at stores nationwide.

VIDEO GAMES

In a fitting tribute to where it all began, Pokémon Red VersionPokémon Blue Version, and Pokémon Yellow Version will be released as digital downloads on Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on February 27. Pokémon Red Version andPokémon Blue Version will also be included in a New Nintendo 3DS bundle. The New Nintendo 3DS Pokémon 20th Anniversary bundle will come with Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version pre-installed, two unique cover plates featuring artwork from the original Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version game boxes and the Pokémon 20th logo, and a download code for an exclusive Nintendo 3DS Pokémon HOME Menu theme. The commemorative New Nintendo 3DS bundle will be available on February 27 at retail locations.

POKÉMON TCG

Pokémon TCG fans can celebrate 20 years of Pokémon with the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion (Pokemon.com/20). This special expansion covers every stage of a Trainer’s journey, from the choice of a first partner Pokémon to the most elite of Trainer battles. Featuring Pikachu, Snorlax, Ninetales-EX, Jolteon-EX, plus Mega Charizard-EX, Mega Blastoise-EX, and Mega Venusaur-EX, the Generations expansion will be available in February. Generations booster packs will be available within specially labeled and designed Pokémon TCG products released as part of the Pokémon 20th celebration, starting with the first Pokémon TCG: Mythical Pokémon Collection coming in late February. A total of 11 Mythical Pokémon Collections will be released throughout 2016, each containing two Generations booster packs. In addition, four Pokémon TCG: Red & Blue Collections focused on the original superstars of the Pokémon world, each containing four Generations booster packs, will be released in 2016.

RETAIL

The celebration continues with special retail events. Four Mythical Pokémon video game character distribution events will take place at participating GameStop locations throughout 2016, with one being distributed each quarter. Fans will need to have Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X, or Pokémon Y, and a system from the Nintendo 3DS family to receive Mew, Darkrai, Arceus, and Genesect.

On Pokémon Day, February 27, at participating Toys“R”Us locations, fans can receive special foil Pokémon TCG cards featuring Pikachu and Magikarp from the Generations expansion, a Pokémon activity book, and a poster of the original 151 Pokémon, while supplies last. Toys“R”Us will also have an exclusive Generations-themed folio available for purchase to collect the new expansion.

ANIMATION

Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, 12 full-length Pokémon feature films will be available for digital download from iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Among the releases will be digitally remastered versions of Pokémon: The First Movie and Pokémon the Movie 2000 and Pokémon 3: The Movie. In addition, Pokémon TV, available on Pokemon.com, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire platforms, will feature one film title per month to align with other Pokémon brand activities. The first three Pokémon films will also be available in both DVD and Blu-ray formatted bundles from licensee Viz Media.

A 48-page interactive digital reader will accompany Pokémon: The First Movie and can be viewed on any device that supports iBooks, including Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

MERCHANDISE

Fans can celebrate 20 years of Pokémon in style with new apparel, accessories, and souvenirs available only at PokemonCenter.com. They can find everything from a special Pokémon 20th baseball cap by New Era to a commemorative pin and lanyard set. Pokémon 20th TCG accessories, such as card sleeves, deck boxes, playmats, and much more, are available for fans of all ages. Limited-edition Pokémon 20th figures and plush items from TOMY International, Pokémon’s master toy licensee, will also be available at participating retail locations.

For more information on the Pokémon franchise and other plans for their 20th Anniversary year, visit the company’s USA website here.

REN_box_mockup

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri is a two player asymmetrical game in which one player is trapped in a coma, her memories being devoured by ravens, and the other can share her dreams.  Both players must work cooperatively to free her from the coma.  Originally published in Japanese, Osprey Games will be publishing an English language edition.  The new version will feature the same beautiful art work of the original printed on over-sized cards in an embossed slipcase.  The development team at Osprey has also added three mystery envelopes that may be opened when a game is completed but only if certain qualifications are met.

Being a connoisseur of two-player games, this has been on my radar for a long time and I’m very excited to finally be able to acquire a copy!  The game’s developer, Duncan Molloy, had this to say:

What makes this game special is the fusion of a truly heart-rending story and extremely elegant and nuanced game mechanics. It is a game is like no other I’ve ever played, combining hidden information with a deteriorating deck, as the Ravens destroy memory cards between rounds. Only one player has access to the deck of memories, while only the other player knows which cards they need.

Osprey has an expected release window of May 2016.

Z-Man Games has announced that they will be releasing 4 new titles at GenCon 2015 this July.  Brief descriptions are given below, along with links to further information about each title.

Code of Nine

Mankind is No More! You are an automaton awakening to the ruins of the world 100-years after the fall of humanity. Yet, the will of Mankind is still pulsing in your memory – but, that memory is fading! Can you retrieve it?

Code of Nine is a game of mystery and deduction in which you play as automatons who are attempting to discover the final will of humanity, now long lost.  Your goal is to discover humanity’s last will, divided into eight fragments, use powers that are offered by the various locations in the game, and find out what memories are in play.

Code of Nine is a game for 3-4 players ages 13 and up and plays in 40 min.  The game box includes:

  • 28 cards
  • 1 Game Board
  • 31 Item Tokens
  • 12 Player Pawns
  • 4 Will Markers
  • 4 Player Sheets
  • 4 Memory Lists
  • 1 Round Marker
  • Score Sheets
  • 1 Rulebook

View more information about Code of Nine here.

Apocalypse Chaos

We are in grave danger! Enemies are swarming around the ship and they will not go down without a fight. We’ll have to work together in order to get out of this one alive. We’re going to need a plan, and we need it fast! Let’s not let these things outsmart us, outnumber us, and certainly not outshoot us! I need you all to do what you do best. Got it? Let’s do this!
 In Apocalypse Chaos, your ship is being attacked by hostile aliens, and you and your crew must do everything it takes to survive while securing scientific artifacts, rescuing survivors, and destroying the alien leader.  This cooperative game allows players to create their own missions via modular components in addition to the included scenarios.
 Apocalypse Chaos is a game for 1-4 players ages 13 and up and plays in 60 minutes.  The game box includes the following:
  • 20 6-sided custom dice
  • 5 Standees
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 10 Room Tiles
  • 31 Enemy/Equipment Cards
  • 90 Various Tokens
  • 8 Plastic Pillars

View more information about Apocalypse Chaos here.

Dragon Farkle

The long enjoyed peace of Yon has been disrupted by a ferocious and mean-spirited dragon he’s terrorizing the locals and eating their livestock without their permission. Fortunately, a few wannabe heroes (that’s you!) have risen to the challenge of slaying the beast. Get yourself a brave companion, gather a powerful army, and enter the Dragon’s Keep. For cheese and country!

In Dragon Farkle, you are recruiting soldiers to build an army in order to fight a dragon.  The game is fast and features a push-your-luck dice-rolling mechanism.

Dragon Farkle is a game for 2-5 players ages 13 and up and plays in 30 minutes.  The game box contains:
  • 30 Soldier Dice
  • 1 Event Die
  • 10 Companion Cards
  • 20 Magic Item Cards
  • 5 Player Mats
  • 1 Dragon
  • 5 Damage Counters
  • Rules

Read more about this release here.

Flick ‘Em Up!

The cities in the West are not the safest place to be. In the disc-flicking game Flick ’em Up!, you can become an outlaw and rob banks, free prisoners, attack innocent bystanders…or become the Sheriff and try to protect the people of your city from these bandits! Relive the great adventures of the West, face your enemies in street duels, use different guns and tactics to get what you want. You can follow the scenarios or create your own – the choice is yours, cowboy!

Flick ‘Em Up is a game with equal amounts of dexterity and strategy and ten different scenes for play.  This game includes high quality wooden pieces, including bullets and dynamite, which are being flicked at the opposition.  Many other actions are available depending on the scenario.

Flick ‘Em Up is a game for 2-10 players ages 8 and up and plays in 45 minutes.  The game box includes:

  • 12 Figures
  • 12 Removable/Reversible Hats
  • 10 Cowboy Tiles
  • 6 Buildings
  • 1 Gallows
  • 72 Tokens (dynamite, pistols, rifles,etc.)
  • 36 Wooden Pieces (cactuses, barrels, etc.)

For more information on this new release, read here.

Grail Games has announced two new upcoming games, Matcha and Too Many Cinderellas.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a tradition centered on spirituality and servitude. Preparing and presenting a beautiful matcha (tea) for your guest is the ultimate expression of culture, ceremony and respect.

Designed by David Harding, the card game Matcha sets the stage for players to perform a tea ceremony by matching “otemae” [oh-teh-mah-eh], or tea ceremony, cards by number or by suit.  Card play in the game is done in secret, and the suits used are tea, water, bowl, and scoop.  Collecting the “chadogu” [chah-doh-goo], or tea utensils, is very important in order to accomplish your objective.

Matcha provides plenty of strategy for players who must decide when and where to play their cards to the table.

Matcha is a game for 2 players and will include the following:

  • 18 otomae cards
  • 6 tatami (straw mat) cards
  • 35 chadogu tokens

Too Many Cinderellas is a card game in which players take on the role of an influential person in the distant land that is trying to convince the Prince that their servant, friend, or relative is the true Cinderella.  They do this by capitalizing on the Prince’s confused memories of the real Cinderella while trying to tactfully sow seeds of doubt about the other “Cinderellas” belonging to the other players.

There was a ball held at a castle in a far-off country. The Prince of the country met Cinderella at the ball and fell in love with her. He decides he wishes to marry her and sets off to find her. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually remember anything about her and is left wondering aloud to all: “Does anyone know Cinderella?” Hearing this, many influential people begin spreading rumors that their servant is the actual Cinderella.  [from BoardGameGeek.com]

Too Many Cinderellas is a game for 2-4 players ages 10 and up.

Both of these games are scheduled for release in May of 2015.  More information can be found about Matcha and Too Many Cinderellas on Grail Games’ website here.